How to Host a Fabulous Friendsgiving
Ideas and Tips for Planning the Perfect Potluck
Is it your year to host your group's Friendsgiving? SignUp's got you covered – here is all you need to know to throw an amazing celebration they'll be talking about long after the holiday season!
What is Friendsgiving?
Friendsgiving is a more informal version of Thanksgiving, for friends rather than family, usually occurring on the Wednesday before or the Friday after Thanksgiving Day – but because of the casual nature of the day there isn’t a strict set of guidelines. Want to host a Friendsgiving weeks before Thanksgiving? Then go for it!
How do I Plan Friendsgiving?
- Make it a brunch, lunch, or dinner. Don’t cook or don’t want to? Have your friends pick up their favorite take-out and everyone shares a big family meal – a cornucopia of ethnicities and flavors to relish.
- Craving something simple? Grab your Thanksgiving leftovers, some fun holiday movies, and head over to your bestie’s house for a relaxing day of togetherness.
- Want something a little more structured, but still low stress? Then use SignUp for your Friendsgiving potluck needs! With just a few clicks organize who is bringing what, send reminders, and keep track of the menu – so you can relax and actually enjoy Friendsgiving. Participants sign up on their smartphone or computer, choose their contributions, and receive automatic reminders.
PRO TIP: Remember to add spaces for volunteers to help set up and clean up so you aren’t stressing about doing it all yourself.
What do I Serve at Friendsgiving?
- Mix it up/Start a new tradition – avoid turkey burnout by choosing a different theme for your Friendsgiving meal (Asian-themed, Italian-themed, farm-to-table, etc.) or a different main dish (pork belly, Prime Rib, tofu for your vegetarian friends). A fun idea is to choose a specific cookbook author or cookbook and have everyone pick a recipe to make.
PRO TIP: Remember your friends with allergies and dietary restrictions – print these free food-allergy meal tags and when your friends arrive, ask them to fill one out for each dish they brought.
- Tell guests to bring wine or their favorite drinks, and be sure to include snacks and appetizers on the SignUp in case dinner gets delayed.
Friendsgiving Games & Activities
Here are some suggestions for entertainment at your Friendsgiving celebration.
- Ask for a volunteer or assign a guest as the DJ (make a playlist) to provide music. You can also share the playlist with guests so they have something fun to remember the day.
- Host a movie marathon. Play all of the Star Wars or Fast & Furious movies, or ask your guests to bring their favorite holiday movie.
- Play Friendsgiving Bingo. Check out SignUp's printable Bingo cards for a slight twist on a classic game.
- Set up a Thankful Jar: Spray paint some small rocks and have your guests write what they’re thankful for with a permanent marker. Read them out loud before you eat.
- Create a photo booth with fun props. Think up a hashtag so everyone can share on social media.
- Have friends bring their favorite board games and host a game day.
- Pick up some 2x4s (or something similar), cut them in a uniform length, sand the edges, and play a game of Giant Jenga.
PRO TIP: Check with the lumber department of your local hardware store to see if they offer free cutting when you buy your 2x4s from them.
Tips for Friendsgiving with Kids
- If friends are bringing their kids, schedule your Friendsgiving for lunch or an early dinner since bedtimes come into play, or hire a high school or college-aged kid to babysit so the adults can have fun and not worry about their kids.
- Snacks and appetizers are especially important if children will be attending. Plan on including kid-friendly foods like chicken nuggets, chips, ham and cheese roll-ups, mini-corn dogs, cheese and crackers, popcorn, cookies/brownies, etc. along with your more grown-up selections.
PRO TIP: If you don’t have kids around the same age as your guests, ask parents to bring age-appropriate toys that can be shared. Be sure to label everything so it goes home with the correct person.
- Check out SignUp's printable coloring place mats to give the kiddos a fun activity that will keep them happily busy while the adults have a moment to visit with each other.
Looking for more ideas? See our Potluck Planning Center for SignUp sheets, event reminders, checklists to ensure your Friendsgiving runs smoothly.